(Jackson, MS / June 15, 2016) W. Scott Welch of Baker Donelson has received the American Bar Association's (ABA) Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Senator Edmund S. Muskie Pro Bono Service Award.
The award recognizes TIPS members who have the attributes embodied by Senator Muskie: his dedication to justice for all citizens, his public service and his role as a lawyer and distinguished leader of the section.
Mr. Welch, senior counsel in Baker Donelson's Jackson office, began his commitment to pro bono work as a young attorney, advocating for underrepresented Jackson property owners. He has frequently served two Mississippi organizations: the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Program (MLVP) and Mission First Mississippi, both of which focus on legal concerns and assistance to low-income individuals. An active volunteer with MLVP legal clinics, Mr. Welch was heavily involved in its divorce mediation pilot program.
In addition to local outreach, Mr. Welch also has tackled larger systemic pro bono matters, such as work on an amicus brief for the National Chamber of Commerce addressing a potential threat to the right to trial by jury. In 2014, he devoted significant research and legal analysis to representing the family of a disabled veteran in appealing denial of VA benefits. More recently, he represented a case involving international child abduction.
Mr. Welch has also shown a commitment to TIPS through his leadership in the section. For nearly 20 years, he has served on the TIPS National Trial Academy Standing Committee. An active member of the ABA, he has served on the Board of Governors, the House of Delegates, the Standing Committees on Judicial Independence, Lawyers' Professional Liability; Medical Professional Liability and Membership.
Mr. Welch is a civil trial and appellate lawyer and mediator with current emphasis on a variety of civil litigation. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and of Litigation Counsel of America, he has served as president of The Mississippi Bar and as national president of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He currently serves as state chair for the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, membership of which is limited to 1 percent of Mississippi lawyers.
Mr. Welch has been named to the University of Mississippi School of Law Alumni Hall of Fame. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America® since 1995, and was named the Best Lawyers' Jackson, Mississippi, Transportation Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015 and the Best Lawyers' Jackson, Mississippi, Personal Injury Litigator of the Year in 2011 and 2014. Mr. Welch has also been included in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers since 2004 and in Mid-South Super Lawyers, where he has been listed among the Top 50 attorneys in Mississippi since 2006.